Thursday, April 25, 2013

Transgenerational protest and social change

My mother’s big protest kabooie was sexism and so was my nana’s. Nana receiving half the wages of a male teacher, to feed her family with, really wasn’t okay; particularly as her husband died as a result of doing things in the war he didn’t want to do, like mowing down people with a tank. He relived the horror of doing such a disgusting act, blaming himself over and over for those he was ordered to kill… My mother’s experience involved severe trauma, so she hurled her protest around in a way that was upsetting to her children. But she didn’t do it all the time and she really didn’t have full control when society was still blaming her for the violence perpetuated against her. The mental health system at the time treated trauma, as it mostly still does, like the victim of crime has ‘problems.’ Court cases were discussed and I knew at quite a young age that a woman could be horrifically brutalised, but if she could be proven to be ‘loose,’ then she would not win a case against her attackers…

                My father, although he didn’t talk much, carried environmental and wartime conspiracies. His father had been pushed off a building in Cairo during WW2. My father had also worked on environmental studies where, any information that contravened what the mining companies wanted to do disappeared, and, a colleague leading the environmental project ‘suicided.’ My father was also stopped from teaching ‘the hothouse effect’ which is a precursor theory to ‘the greenhouse effect.’ He was a very silent man, my father. But he did show his anger on occasions, generally with a big fog-horn booming voice. So I somewhat felt his protest at a young age.

                I think most people carry some of the baggage from their parents and do try to make the changes to society happen, which their parents couldn’t. It kind of is the subliminal ‘job’ of the progeny to do that. But the progeny have to do it differently from the parents, if the parents really couldn’t handle the backlash of their times, together with the trauma they most likely suffered, it's no good parroting what they said.

Transgenerational protest… it’s not about genes, it’s about society, what society needs to do to become more humane, and, it’s definitely not a chemical imbalance and not something that should be said to be the ‘fault/ illness/ disease’ of the progeny, who understand the previous generation of protestors, and are trying to cope with that, and get their own needs met... lest we forget.

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  1. Perfect comment for this day NO; succinctly put; unassailable logic
    Go Well

  2. Very good post. I would definitely like you to respond to my facebook private message. -JL.